August 23, 2010

Child pulled from MCPS excels from homeschooling

Getting accepted at a top-notch Ivy League college like Harvard or Yale is a dream of many students. When siblings Anna, now a senior, and Jacob Pritt, a sophomore, were both accepted at Harvard, it was cause for great celebration at their alma mater, the School of Mom and Dad. Christine and Mark Pritt took responsibility for their children's education when Anna was in fourth grade and Jacob was in second, and they still homeschool their other four children who range in age from 11 to 17.

Christine Pritt said she made the decision to homeschool her children after Jacob finished first grade. Because of Anna's experience in kindergarten at Walkersville Elementary School, Pritt said she knew a lot of class time was spent learning the alphabet and other basic building blocks. Because Jacob could read before he entered kindergarten, she decided to homeschool him that year so he wouldn't be bored. But that year of homeschooling just put him that much farther ahead of his peers in first grade, she said. Both children were enrolled in the gifted and talented program at North Frederick Elementary School.

"And his teachers were excellent -- this decision had nothing to do with the quality of teachers," Pritt said. "But the system has little flexibility, and the large class size prevented any individual attention to the children."

As Jacob prepared to enter second grade, his teachers were willing to bump his math instruction up by a grade level, but the principal at that time wouldn't allow it.

"That was the straw that broke the camel's back," Pritt said.

Christine Colburn pulled her daughter, Calle, out of Montgomery County Public Schools when she finished second grade. Colburn said her last straw was being called into the school because Calle was "fidgeting" at her desk. Colburn discovered that Calle was finishing her work much more quickly than her classmates, and then was expected to sit quietly at her desk until 30 other students caught up. SOURCE: WTOP

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